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Snapchat Leads to Felony Arrest

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – In this age of technology, adults often preach to children about the dangers of using the wrong phone app or viewing the wrong site. Some take their own advice while others follow the “Do as I say, not as I do” method.

Such was the case for a Lovelady man earlier this week. According to an affidavit of probable cause, 25-year-old Bobby Michael Vaurier was taken into custody by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office after he attempted to sell a stolen handgun via Snapchat – a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings.

The affidavit reported HCSO Sgt. Larenzo Simpson received information and a photo of a Rock Island Armory handgun, a box of ammunition and a handgun case being sold for $450 on Snapchat by Bobby Vaurier. 

“Sgt. Simpson recognized the firearm as being the same make, model, color, brand and description as one reported (in Lovelady),” the report stated.

Simpson contacted both the owner of the firearm and the investigating deputy who confirmed the weapon as the one which had been stolen.

“A meeting was arranged to be set up to meet with Bobby who confirmed to meet in Lovelady, Texas in the Weldon community at Bobby’s family property along and about the 11000 block of FM 230,” the affidavit stated.

HCSO deputies placed themselves around the perimeter of the location to wait for Vaurier. Once he arrived at the designated place, Vaurier was observed getting out of his vehicle, removing the Rock Island Armory firearm and handing it to the supposed purchaser, the legal document reported.

“Bobby also cleared and racked the slide to remove any loaded ammo inside the firearm for the purchaser. At this time, deputies entered the property, retrieving the Rock Island Armory 1911 handgun from the purchaser and also placing Bobby into handcuffs,” the affidavit indicated.

The HCSO deputies confirmed Vaurier was a convicted felon after a background check was run. A search of the vehicle he was driving was conducted and resulted in deputies finding three more handguns along with several boxes of ammunition.

Vaurier was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of theft of a firearm.

The felonious possession charges are considered as third degree felonies. According to Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

The theft of a firearm charge is considered as a state jail felony which carries a range of punishment between 180 days and two years, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.